The Lead

Wolf admin. adds intramuscular injection to expanded naloxone order

By: - July 27, 2022 4:52 pm

Narcan nasal spray used for reversing opioid overdoses (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

An intramuscular version of the overdose-reversal medicine Naloxone has been added to Pennsylvania’s standing order to put the life-saving drug in the hands of the public and first responders. 

Wolf administration officials announced on Wednesday that ZIMHI, a 5-milligram intramuscular injection device that comes as a single-dose pre-filled syringe or a carton containing two cases of the pre-filled syringes, can be obtained by the public and first responders at Pennsylvania pharmacies. 

“You never know when you may come across an individual experiencing an overdose,” Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith said. “With the addition of this new product in the standing order, we’re giving Pennsylvanians an additional tool in the toolbox for combating the increase in fentanyl across the commonwealth.”

The standing order, first issued in 2014, allows the public and first responders to get naloxone from pharmacies or by mail in an effort to prevent overdose deaths. 

The order is separate from Gov. Tom Wolf’s opioid disaster declaration, which expired last August after voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring the state Legislature to sign off on all future disaster declarations. 

“Naloxone is an essential tool in the commonwealth’s approach to address the overdose crisis,” acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. 

Pennsylvania recorded 5,224 overdose deaths in 2021, according to state data. 

DDAP reports that between November 2017 and March 31, 2022, there have been 22,085 overdose reversals using state-purchased Narcan.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.